Soup night. It’s long been a weekly tradition for us — at least in colder weather. Years ago I read Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy as I prepared to quit my job and manage our home on one income. The book was amazingly helpful in making ends meet.
One of her recommendations for staying in the black was to have a weekly soup night.
Soup is quick, economical, and filling. You can make a meal from little bits of a few different ingredients. And it’s so cozy on a cold day.
However, some people have a hard time considering soup as a meal. They often mistake it as a side dish instead of a main course. Or they balk at the idea of vegetables and broth. My children would count themselves in the category of “some people.”
I’ve been working on some strategies to make soup night a little easier to swallow, for adults and children alike:
1. Offer a choice.
Whether you prepare two different choices of soup or variety of toppings to choose from, make some options available. Not only does this brighten up soup night, but it also allows reluctant soup eaters to have some power in the matter.
2. Provide some delicious breads.
My kids absolutely love Garlic Focaccia as well as popovers. By offering these on soup night, I’m giving the kids — of all ages — something to look forward to, in addition to the soup. In a pinch, cheese and crackers work, too.
3. Bake a great dessert.
It’s amazing to me how quickly the kids can scarf down a bowl of soup when they know there is a great dessert, like Slab Apple Pie to top off with. While I’m not necessarily bribing them, I am rewarding the good eater with a little treat. I figure that eventually, they’ll develop a taste for the soup in question and not need a little reward/
4. Serve it with a smile.
If your child or spouse isn’t quick to embrace soup night, never fear. Through trial and error, you’ll find ways to make it work. For our family, I’ve realized that chilis and stews go over better than thinner soups. The important part is for each of us to eat what we have with thanksgiving. And hopefully, my cheerful attitude (and persistence) will help make it an enjoyable experience.
My friend Lynn is hosting a weekly Soup’s On! every Monday. Check it out for more soup inspiration.